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Thursday, August 7, 2008

10 things that annoy us about hotels # 2 Fixed Coat Hangers

You know the ones, those fixed coat hangers that don’t come off the rail in the cupboard. We always like to hang a few items of clothing when we get to our room and those stupid hangers are so annoying. We also like to take the hung clothes out of the cupboard and into the bathroom for a quick steam while we have a shower – it helps get out the little wrinkles. Those coat hangers really spoil our evening. Order an iron and ironing board, you say? We don’t want to go to that much trouble if we can avoid it and in some countries (hello, Italy!), they won’t send one to your room as it’s against fire safety laws. And if we’re only staying one night, there’s no chance we’re going to send anything out to be pressed as we may never see it again. Who steals those things anyway? And, let’s say someone does steal one once in a blue moon, why do we have pay for it by being treated like a potential thief?
A general manager of a large multinational hotel responds:
“We don’t use fixed coat hangers in our hotel, but we do ‘lose’ several hundred of our good wooden hangers each month. We don’t want to use the fixed hangers as we appreciate they’re an inconvenience to guests. And a little tacky. But it’s strange to think that several times a day people are checking out of the hotel with our coat hangers in their bags! But that’s the price we’re willing to pay to keep our guests happy.”
The hotel may be happy to pay the price, but we're not. Does this drive anyone else nuts, or is it just us?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Cherrye at My Bella Vita said...

I'm loving this series and can't wait to see what else you come up with. We own a B&B in Italy so I wondered where I would stand on your complaints, but so far we are good. I agree ... HATE the fixed hangers and minibar sensors! Hate 'em... :-)

laradunston said...

Hi Cherrye - I'm so pleased you're enjoying it! And we're only up to number 2! Now, I'd love to know the kinds of things that drive you nuts when you travel - OR, have driven you mad in the past and so, as a B&B owner, you've tried to avoid making the same mistakes...? There must be something. Perhaps I'll have to do a series on the hoteliers' perspective and the things that drive them crazy when they travel? What do you think?! Thanks for commenting!

Travel Muse said...

Lara - Follow Alena posted a great solution to the hanger problem. Bring your own. I know you travel ultra-light, but even a couple of these might make life easier.

http://followalena.com/blog/2008/07/31/hang-it-up/

franki durbin said...

ditto. worst hangers ever. I like the generous wooden ones with hooks so small they'd be useless to steal. This way you enjoy them while you're there, but others have no reason to pack them away.

laradunston said...

Hi Franki, Hi Travel Muse
Oh, but I don't travel light, Travel Muse - I did when I travelled for pleasure, but now that travel is all about work, I'm always over limit. Our luggage currently comes to 115 kilos between Terry and I! It's mostly technology - DVDs, hard drives, adaptors, cameras, etc - plus bags of books, press kits, brochures, etc. I have the clothes down to a bare minimum, so, sadly, that's not where the kilos are coming from. So no room for coat hangers I'm afraid, but a great suggestion all the same!

Cherrye at My Bella Vita said...

Yikes, 115 kilos?? I couldn't imagine.

I think you are hitting on some of the things that drove us nuts ... the wifi issue being #1, disinterested B&B owners, non-smoking rooms that smell like smoke, employees smoking at the entrance when you walk in and unreasonable breakfast hours being a few others.

I think more than anything, owning a B&B has made us better guests for other hotels. We understand the little things other guests probably don't think of.

Happy hotelier said...

Hi Lara

1) Valid complaint, although I have to point out that the photo you show is of a hanger system where the hangers easily can be taken off. You just have to flip them to the left side where there is a hole to let out the knob and you can re hang them the same way back :-)

2) I suggest you ditch the anonymous Travel Ape comment as it is spam and a wrong url.

laradunston said...

Hi Cherrye

Oh I couldn't agree more with the non-smoking rooms that smell like smoke! And the breakfast hours! And as for the employees smoking, let's add "employees doing whatever they want except what they're employed to do"!

But I'm sure being guests has made you better B&B owners too.


Hi Guido

Thanks for the tip re travelape - I didn't look closely.

But these coat-hangers drive us just as crazy - they seem to be the latest fad among hotels in Italy - they may come off the loop at the top but they are totally useless as you then can't hang them up anywhere else, so it doesn't help at all if you want to steam a suit coat in the shower.

Now, Guido, what kind of hangers do you have in your luxurious little hotel? :)

Happy Hotelier said...

Our hangers?

Off course solid beech wooden hangers and some even better plastic ones that I favor, because the shirts don't glide off them.

I hardly ever miss one. I pity those hoteliers who moan about a couple of coat hangers. What do they cost?

laradunston said...

Well, one big five star luxe property told us their beautiful wooden coat hangers cost around 10 euros each when they bought them bulk. They'd be triple that if you or I bought them in a store. The same hotel was losing several hundred of the things a month!! I'm sure it adds up over a year.

Anonymous said...

My ex is a VP at a top investment bank in London, every wooden hanger in his wardrobe has 'Westin' or 'St. Regis' written on it. He openly admitted to stealing a few everytime he goes on a business trip.

laradunston said...

Ha ha!!! That is so funny! I'm going to have to share that one with my hotel GM friends!

As an investment banker your ex can obviously afford to buy his own beautiful wooden hangers, so for him his minor thefts are a bit of a thrill, or perhaps these are his status souvenirs, a mark of his success? What's your theory?

How funny. Although I know the hotels don't think so.